Mart Crowley(Photo by Emilio Madrid for Broadway.com) The play also received two off-Broadway revivals in 1996 and 2010. Then in 2002, Crowley wrote The Men From the Boys, a sequel to the play which takes place during a memorial service; it premiered in San Francisco. In 2018, in time for its 50th anniversary, The Boys in the Band received its first Broadway production, directed by Joe Mantello and featuring an all-gay cast that included Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto and Andrew Rannells. The Broadway production received two Tony nominations and won one: for Best Revival of a Play (it also won a Broadway.com Audience Choice Awards for Favorite Play Revival). The Boys in the Band film—produced by Ryan Murphy and David Stone, and starring the Broadway cast—will be released in 2020. “I think there’s a Guinness Book of Records here because I can’t think of another play that was made into a movie twice that had the exact original actors from New York each time,” said Crowley last year. “I think it’s quite amazing.”Crowley’s other plays include Remote Asylum, A Breeze From the Gulf, Avec Schmaltz and For Reasons That Remain Unclear, which was written in 1993 and was about sexual abuse in the Catholic church. He also had a career in Hollywood; he was the producer/cowriter of the ABC show Hart to Hart (1979-1984). He is the co-author of the children’s book Eloise Takes a Bawth. He’s also set to appear in May in the HBO documentary Natalie Wood: What Remains Behind.Though The Boys in the Band is what he’s known for, Crowley never thought the play would be considered an integral part of gay cultural history. “Everybody that knew me, my friends, they all thought I was going around the bend a bit when I’d tell them what I was working on,” he recalled of writing it. “I just kept going. I had faith in something, I don’t know what it was—myself, I hope. I finally typed ‘The End’ and put it on my arm and came to New York with it.”Boys in the Band star Andrew Rannells wrote a tribute to Crowley on his Instagram, which said, “Mart Crowley. Kind. Smart. Hilarious. Generous. I feel incredibly fortunate to have spent so much time with him. He will be greatly missed and always loved.” Crowley at the Broadway opening night of The Boys in the Band (Photo by Caitlin McNaney for Broadway.com) Mart Crowley, the Tony-winning playwright of The Boys in the Band, has passed away. He reportedly had a heart attack, and died while recovering from heart surgery. He was 84 years old. A playwright and screenwriter, Crowley is best known for creating the first mainstream portrayal of gay men in Boys in the Band, which is being released later this year as a Netflix film.Crowley was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He studied acting and show business at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Then in 1957, Crowley headed to Hollywood, with the goal of being a screenwriter. One of his first jobs was as an assistant to Natalie Wood while she was filming West Side Story. The two became close friends and she encouraged him to write The Boys in the Band, which he did over the course of five weeks while housesitting for actress Diana Lynn in Beverly Hills. The Boys in the Band is about nine gay men who gather at a birthday party. Its exploration of the complicated life of gay men—filled with romantic yearning, witty banter, and, for some, self-hatred—was considered revolutionary for its time. At that point, being gay was still seen as a crime. Though the play was championed by Edward Albee and Richard Barr, it was difficult to find actors who would star in it. “The first time, we would take anyone who would do it; we were beating the bushes [for actors],” Crowley told Broadway.com in 2019. “It was very different back then. You could get arrested for doing the things they do in this play. It was quite awful and ridiculous and demeaning. Naturally, everybody’s agent told them not to do this play. We offered the roles and many turned it down. Agents said it was a career killer.”The Boys in the Band premiered off-Broadway on April 14, 1968 at Theater Four. It was originally scheduled to run for five performances but it was soon a success and its run was extended; it eventually played 1,001 performances and coincided with the Stonewall Riots in 1969. In 1970, it was turned into a movie directed by Oscar winner William Friedkin, featuring the off-Broadway cast. The film was revolutionary because it was the first to depict gay men not as villains and deviants, but as complex protagonists. The Boys in the Band was also the subject of the 2011 documentary, Making the Boys. View Comments
Lisa M. Ashley, BSBA Business AdministrationCharles Daniel, BS Network Security and AdministrationChristopher C. Diego, BS Computer Information TechnologyJamie K. Favaloro, BSW Social WorkLisa Marie McGInnis, BS Health Information TechnologyCrystal Dawn Nerbak, BS PsychologyAlexandra Danielle Abell Nicasio, AS RadiographyDevin A. Renca, BFA Graphic Design and Digital MediaHugues A. Ross, BS Game ProgrammingJoshua R. Sharp, BS Management of Creative MediaKatherine A. Weed, BS MarketingKari Ann Trudo, BS Integrated StudiesShannon Cara Welch, BS Criminal JusticeMeredith J. Hansen, BSBA Business AdministrationFair Haven:Abigail Egan, BS Health Care AdministrationGeorgia:Amy Davenport, AS Business ManagementGrand Isle:Linda S. Phypers, BS Health Care ManagementHartford:Emilie E. Donka, BS Integrated StudiesHinesburg:Scott K. Barrett, BS Computer and Digital ForensicsMatthew R. Sacco, BS Professional WritingSara Noelle Stancliffe, BS Secondary Education – EnglishIsland Pond:Alexander O. Acebo, BS Computer Science and InnovationCara M. Worth, BS Health Care AdministrationJamaica:Kevin M. Ameden, BS AccountingJason W. Bean, BS Health Information TechnologyJeffersonville:Ashley N. McClain, BS Health Care AdministrationJericho: Joseph T. Freitas, BS AccountingChristopher R. Miller, BS Management of Creative MediaDakotah R. Patnode, BS Early Childhood/Elementary EducationMarshfield:Natalia C. Singh, BS PsychologyMiddlebury:Cody Mannigan, BFA Graphic Design and Digital MediaMiddlesex: Brendan D. Grahn, BS MarketingMilton: Brandon E. Beliveau, BS Criminal JusticeKayla M. Bushey, BS AccountingDennis G. Hamel, BS Integrated StudiesTammie L. Conner, BS Integrated StudiesRobert A. Wilson, BS Computer Forensics & Digital InvestigationsInayatullah Yuridullah, BS AccountingMichael Joseph Moshovetis, AS Business ManagementShawn P. Burke, BS Integrated StudiesMontpelier: Gail Barrows, BS Integrated StudiesMorrisville:Ian F. Sudol, BS Game Art and AnimationNew Haven: Kellie J. Coakley, BS PsychologyStephen E. Williams, BS AccountingNewport:Megan E. Marquissee, BS Health Care AdministrationNewport Center: Paige M. Leonard, AS RadiographyDaniel F. McLean, BS Game ProgrammingBrent Patenaude, BS Game DesignNorth Bennington: Dale Jameson Lampman, BFA Digital FilmmakingNorth Hero: Matthew J Surprenant, BS Information SecurityNorth Springfield: Kylie Amanda Bellows, AS RadiographyNorthfield: Walter W. Weaver, BS Game Art and AnimationOrleans: Tyler J. Leno, BS Computer and Digital ForensicsProctor: Matthew L. Scarzello, BS CommunicationQuechee: Katherine E. Clemens, BS PsychologyReadsboro: William B. Zboray, BS CommunicationRichmond: Lyndsey N. Hobart, BS PsychologyElizabeth Hemingway Lane, BS Early Childhood/Elementary EducationMiranda Kate Haskell, BS PsychologyWilliam Scott Reed, BS Web Site Development & DesignRochester: Rhianna A. Graham-Frock BS CommunicationKelsey E. Keown BSBA Business AdministrationRutland: Joseph T. Palumbo II, BFA Digital FilmmakingJessica Santini, BS Integrated StudiesPeggy A. Campney, AS AccountingSt Albans:Elizabeth Bockus, BS Early Childhood/Elementary EducationHanah Kelly, BS Legal StudiesTravis A. Vigneau, BS Network Security and AdministrationHadley I. Priebe, BS CommunicationShelburne: Andrew C. Esposito, BS Game ProgrammingJay E. Guyette, BS Integrated StudiesGeralynn Thornton, AS Health InformaticsSidney T. Miller V, BSBA Business AdministrationSheldon: Marissa N. Forcier, AS RadiographySouth Burlington: Jason F. Ehlers, BS Computer Forensics & Digital InvestigationsKandice G. Greenough, BS Health Care AdministrationSelena E. LeClair, BS Public RelationsSteven D. Macomber, BSBA Business AdministrationAline A. Oliveira, BSW Social WorkMrs. Rodica Timbalari, BS AccountingJoshua M. Franklin, BS Business ManagementSamuel J. McCarthy, BS MarketingSamantha Lynn Prince, BS Health Care ManagementSouth Hero: Megan E. Bessette, BS Early Childhood/Elementary EducationStarksboro: Lisa S. Wener, AS AccountingStowe: Rebecca M. Merson, BS PsychologyJacqueline Stafford, BS CommunicationSwanton: David M. Beaulieu, BS Business ManagementJoanne M. Saunders, BSW Social WorkJorie Rose Spaulding, BS MarketingKayleigh Vespa BS MarketingEli J. Yandow AS RadiographyUnderhill: Levi E. Heh, BS Computer Information TechnologyVergennes: Monica D. Birchmore, BS AccountingWallingford: Kathleen M. Sharon, BS PsychologyWest Glover: Joseph E. Morrill, BS Computer Science and InnovationWestford: Theresa I. Gwozdz, BS Early Childhood/Elementary EducationChristin E. Young, BS Health Care ManagementWeston: Oliver H. Fischer, BFA Graphic Design & Digital MediaWilliston: William Richard Brooks, BS AccountingKody A. Corbosiero, BS Game Art and AnimationBenjamin D. Drinkwine, BS AccountingMaxwell M. Erickson, BFA Digital FilmmakingAmanda J. Hollick, BS Game Art and AnimationNicholas J. Ledak, BFA Graphic Design & Digital MediaBrian C. Letourneau, BS Computer Networking & CybersecurityNoah Jeffrey Limanek, BFA Graphic Design & Digital MediaShawna M. Pratt, AS Business ManagementKristian J. Riley, BS Criminal JusticeShannon E. Ryan, BSBA Business AdministrationElliot H. Schneider, BFA Graphic Design & Digital MediaSophia L. Steinhoff, BS Computer and Digital ForensicsEmily M. Young, BS Public RelationsTodd J. Young, BS Health Information TechnologyMatthew Robert Snelling, AS Web Design and DevelopmentTaylor J. Roberts, BSBA Business AdministrationWinooski: Angela E. Menard, BSW Social WorkTyler G. Whitlock, BS Computer Science and InnovationWoodstock: Hailey A. Neal, BS Professional WritingENDSource: BURLINGTON, VT (May 14, 2016) – Champlain College Champlain College,Vermont Business Magazine Champlain College President Donald J Laackman conferred 562 associate and bachelor degrees to one of the largest graduating class in the College’s history on Saturday, May 14 under an enormous tent spanning the entire Edmunds School athletic field adjacent to the college. More than 4,000 people attended the 138th annual Commencement ceremony with even more watching the simulcast in the Champlain Room of the CCM Building or online. The college’s 138th Undergraduate Commencement presented honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degrees to Vermont musician Grace Potter of Waitsfield and noted author Katherine Paterson of Barre.Honorary Degree recipients musician Grace Potter, left, and author Katherine Paterson share a laugh after receiving their Doctor of Fine Arts degrees from Champlain College. ABOVE Champlain College Class of 2016 grads pose with the College’s mascot Chauncey T Beaver at the reception following graduation. (Photos by Stephen Mease)Author Katherine Paterson was presented with an honorary degree and a citation read by Professor Jim Ellefson: “ …for decades, you have built bridges connecting young readers to both literature and libraries. Your imagination has allowed readers to explore fantastic new places and discover the power of unexpected friendships. Your honesty has born witness to the challenges associated with “growing up,” while your compassionate narratives validate the feelings and emotions of young adults in Vermont and beyond. You have enabled your readers to understand the importance of being open to those set apart or outcast from society and our responsibility to provide them with hope for a better life. You have been honored with the top awards in literature, including the Newbery Medal, National Book Award, Hans Christian Anderson Award, and named a Living Legend by the Library of Congress. We celebrate your powerful body of work, your lifelong commitment to education and your storytelling skills.”Grace Potter’s citation was read by Business Professor Thane Butt, “ Grace Potter, you have made a lasting impact on your community by following your dreams and bringing your artistic expression to life. Your music reflects your unique life experiences while simultaneously conveying universal truths and shared experiences. You have embraced your entrepreneurial spirit and charted your own course, reinforcing the importance of individualism and inspiring others to live their own dreams. We honor you for your compassion and commitment to community service. Your willingness to help others, both as an artist and a Vermonter, speaks to your desire to help those in need – whether through a concert to support a flood-devastated community or headlining an event to ease our veterans’ return from war.”Major Chris Gookin, ‘99, State Public Affairs Officer for the Vermont National Guard, offered the Alumni Welcome to the graduates and their families. Nina Knorr, ‘16, a professional writing major in the Division of Communication and Creative Media delivered the Senior address.In President Laackman’s address to the graduates, he focusing on the tremendous amount of change they have seen on campus during their four years and the change in themselves.Mortarboards are tossed into the air at the conclusion of the Champlain College 138th Commencement Saturday in Burlington. Courtesy photo.“The physical campus itself has undergone significant transformation and has almost always been under construction. I am certain the route you followed when you took your first campus tour is not the same one you use today. You are the first graduating class to enjoy the Center for Communications & Creative Media, a transformative campus space designed to support collaboration and creative thinking. The Finney Quad, from which you began your procession today, was a parking lot your first year. Many of you have lived in Butler and Valcour Halls, which were simply drawings on paper when you considered attending Champlain,” Laackman noted.And he concluded by offering one last assignment to the graduates “Lift up your spyglass. Stare intently into the future. It is your future to seize. Audeamus. Let us Dare!”Founded in 1878, Champlain College is a small, not-for-profit, private college in Burlington, Vermont, with additional campuses in Montreal, Quebec and Dublin, Ireland. Champlain offers a traditional undergraduate experience from its beautiful campus overlooking Lake Champlain and more than 60 online undergraduate and graduate degree programs and certificates. Champlain’s distinctive career-driven approach to higher education embodies the notion that true learning occurs when information and experience come together to create knowledge. Champlain College is included in the Princeton Review’s The Best 380 Colleges: 2016 Edition. Champlain College is featured in the “Fiske Guide to Colleges” for 2016 as one of the “best and most interesting schools” in the United States, Canada and Great Britain. Champlain was named the #1 “Most Innovative School” in the North by the U.S. News and World Report’s 2016 “America’s Best Colleges and #14 in the overall list of “Best Regional Colleges in the North. For more information, visit www.champlain.edu(link is external).Champlain College Class of 2016 Graduates from Vermont (by Town)Albany: Niles S. Fromm. BFA Graphic Design & Digital MediaBarre:Anna Jane Prescott. AS RadiographyCarrie A. Stevens. BS Computer Forensics & Digital InvestigationsBerlin:Nicole A. Daniels. BS Integrated StudiesHunter Gray. BS Management of Creative MediaBondville:Arianne Kali Veitch. BS PsychologyBrandon:Seth A. LaFountain. BS CybersecurityBristol:Page Y. Hallock. BS MarketingAdam William Swindell. BS Network Security and AdministrationBrownington: Matthew H. Lyon. BS PsychologyBurlington: Inna A. Aydinyan. BS International Business, AS Business ManagementMitchell S. Bergeron. BFA Creative Media Matthew Caulo. BS Integrated Studies Grace E. Conley. BS Legal Studies Andrea Craft. BS Computer and Information Systems R. Benjamin Eley. BS Computer and Information Systems Dawn R. Elliott. BS Accounting Charles V. Ferguson. AS Software Development Katherine Marie Goguen. BS Health Care Administration Maria M. Jarvis. BSBA Business Administration Eric Jollymore. BS Computer Forensics and Digital InvestigationNina M. Knorr. BS Professional WritingCurran M. McKee. BFA Digital FilmmakingRichard C. Strous, BS Integrated StudiesJesse B. Budnick, AS Business ManagementJane Lydia Adams, BFA Graphic Design and Digital MediaJennifer R. Trombley, BFA Graphic Design and Digital MediaCharles R. Cantin, BS ParalegalJoshua Kelly, BS Marketing ManagementCabot:Louise M. Mulligan, AS RadiographyCastleton:Brenda Lee Spafford, AS Business ManagementChelsea:Trudy Amber-Dowlin, BS Integrated StudiesChester:Gary B. Luman, Jr., BS AccountingColchester:Charles A. Kozlowski, BFA Digital FilmmakingHolly M. Martin, BS Integrated StudiesDoris S. Reynolds, BS Integrated StudiesJoshua O. St. Hilaire, BS Business ManagementJennifer A. Veronneau, BS Criminal JusticeElizabeth A. Lemieux, BS AccountingTricia L. Phelps, BS Business ManagementEast Fairfield:Tina E. Burns, AS Business ManagementEthan Michael Farmer, BS Computer Networking and Information SecurityEast Hardwick:Dylan L. Gates, BS Criminal JusticeEast Thetford:Jacob D. Emery, BS Business ManagementEnosburg Falls:Brian J. Marchessault, BS Integrated StudiesEssex:Peter Orzell, BS Computer Science and InnovationMichael T. Angel, BS Computer Science and InnovationEssex Junction: Adam P. Pasqual, BS Legal Studies
The Wall Street Journal: The Gopnik lab is rejoicing. My student Caren Walker and I have just published a paper in the well known journal Psychological Science. Usually when I write about scientific papers here, they sound neat and tidy. But since this was our own experiment, I can tell you the messy inside story too.First, the study—and a small IQ test for you. Suppose you see an experimenter put two orange blocks on a machine, and it lights up. She then puts a green one and a blue one on the same machine, but nothing happens. Two red ones work, a black and white combination doesn’t. Now you have to make the machine light up yourself. You can choose two purple blocks or a yellow one and a brown one.Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal More of our Members in the Media >
Look into my eyes. The phrase calls to mind images of a psychotherapist swinging a pocket watch. Or maybe you picture Catherine Keener in the film Get Out, tapping her teacup and sending an unwilling man into a state of hypnotic limbo.“There are many myths about hypnosis, mostly coming from media presentations,” like fictional films and novels, says Irving Kirsch, a lecturer and director of the Program in Placebo Studies at Harvard Medical School. But setting aside pop culture clichés, Kirsch says hypnosis is a well-studied and legitimate form of adjunct treatment for conditions ranging from obesity and pain after surgery to anxiety and stress. Read the whole story: TIME More of our Members in the Media >
Our weekly wrap-up of antimicrobial stewardship & antimicrobial resistance scansUS hospital data shows rise in resistant UTIs in older patientsAn analysis of US hospital data shows that antibiotic resistance in older patients with urinary tract infections (UTIs) nearly doubled from 2009 to 2016, researchers reported yesterday in PLoS One. In a retrospective observational study using data from the National Inpatient Sample—Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, researchers from Queens University Belfast, in Northern Ireland, looked at episodes of care involving patients over 65 with a primary diagnosis of UTI. The primary outcomes were the proportion of admissions with antibiotic resistance (based on ICD-9 and ICD-10 codes), factors associated with higher antibiotic resistance, and the impact of antibiotic resistance on all-cause inpatient mortality, discharge destination, length of stay and hospital expenditures.Over the 8-year period, a total of 546,305 eligible admissions with a primary diagnosis of UTIs were included in the study. The proportion of antibiotic resistance among inpatient episodes those aged 65+ with a primary diagnosis of UTIs increased from 3.64% in 2008 to 6.88% in 2016 (P < 0.001). Factors associated with higher likelihood of having an antibiotic-resistant UTI included higher age-adjusted Deyo-Charlson Comorbdity Index (ACCI) score (odds ratio [OR], 1.06, 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06 to 1.07) and admissions to hospitals in urban areas (OR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.00 to 1.15). Admissions with antibiotic resistant UTIs were more likely to be discharged to healthcare facilities (e.g. care homes) compared to those without antibiotic resistance (OR, 1.81; 95% CI, 1.75 to 1.86), had increased length of stay (1.12 days longer; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.18), and had higher hospital costs ($1,259 USD; 95%CI, $1,178 to $1,340). Resistance due to methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus was specifically associated with increased hospital mortality (OR, 1.33; 95% CI, 1.15 to 1.53)."Our findings indicate a considerable impact of this issue on clinical and economic outcomes," the authors of the study write. "These relationships and their implications for the care homes to which patients are likely discharged warrant further research."Oct 3 PLoS One study Accelerate Diagnostics touts data on rapid diagnostic testOriginally published by CIDRAP News Oct 3Accelerate Diagnostics presented three studies today at IDWeek 2019 in Washington, DC, that show promising results for its rapid phenotypic susceptibility test, according to a company press release.In the RAPIDS-GN randomized controlled trial, conducted at Mayo Clinic and the University of California, Los Angeles, investigators reported that the Accelerate PhenoTest BC kit, when compared with legacy testing methods in gram-negative bacteremia patients, shortened reporting time to first gram-negative antibiotic change a full 24 hours sooner than legacy methods (17.4 vs 42.1 hours) and reporting time to any antibiotic change 6 hours sooner (8.6 vs 14.9 hours).In a single-center study conducted by researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, use of the Accelerate Pheno system was associated with a statistically significant decrease in time on broad-spectrum gram-positive antibiotics of 23.3 hours and a decrease in time on broad-spectrum gram-negative antibiotics of 38.4 hours. Hospital length of stay was also reduced.Data from a study conducted at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics showed that implementation of Accelerate Pheno paired with antimicrobial stewardship team review resulted in early optimization of antibiotic therapy, with the highest impact seen in patients with resistant gram-negative infections."We are thrilled to see these data, which demonstrate conclusively that the Accelerate PhenoTest BC kit positively impacts clinical outcomes across a diverse set of institutions and patient populations," said Romney Humphries, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Accelerate Diagnostics. "The studies show an improvement in antibiotic use, a necessary factor for lowering the risk of multidrug-resistant infections and in preserving the patient's vital functions, while also improving the hospital's bottom line by reducing patient length of stay."Oct 3 Accelerate Diagnostics press release Data show promise for novel antibiotic against gram-negative pneumoniaOriginally published by CIDRAP News Oct 3Data presented today at IDWeek by Shionogi & Co researchers reveal that its investigational drug cefiderocol, a novel siderophore cephalosporin that has shown activity against a broad range of gram-negative bacteria, was non-inferior to meropenem in patients who had hospital-acquired pneumonia caused by gram-negative bacteria.In the study, 148 patients were randomized to receive cefiderocol and 150 to meropenem. Illnesses were typically severe; 60% required mechanical ventilation, and a third had previous treatment failure. Patients received high doses (2 grams) of the drugs every 8 hours.All-cause mortality at 14 days was similar for cefiderocol (12.4%) versus merpoenem (11.6%), as was clinical cure (64.8% vs 66.7%), and microbiological eradication (47.6% vs 48.0%).Tsutae "Den" Nagata, MD, Shionogi's chief medical officer, in a company news release, said the findings "provide meaningful evidence that cefiderocol has the potential to be an effective treatment option for severely ill hospitalized patients with pneumonia….Recently, several new antibiotics have been introduced to address some carbapenem-resistant infections, but they do not address all resistant Gram-negative pathogens. Clinicians are in urgent need of novel therapeutic approaches to overcome the multiple resistance mechanisms that make these strains so difficult to treat."The researchers recorded no unexpected safety issues with the new drug.Cefiderocol—a cephalosporin—has a novel method of penetrating the tough outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria, including multidrug-resistant strains. It has been fast-tracked for assessment by the US Food and Drug Administration, which has assigned an action date of Nov 14 to the drug. It showed promising results against complicated urinary tract infections in a study published last year.Oct 3 IDWeek abstractOct 2 Shionogi news releaseOct 26, 2018, CIDRAP News story "Fast-tracked antibiotic shows promise in phase 2 trial" FDA grants priority review for fidaxomicin for C diff in kidsOriginally published by CIDRAP News Oct 2Merck announced today that the FDA has accepted a New Drug Application (NDA) and a supplemental NDA for use of different fidaxomicin (Dificid) formulations in treating Clostridioides difficile infections in children ages 6 months and older.In a news release, Merck, of Kenilworth, New Jersey, said the NDA is for the oral suspension of the drug and the supplemental NDA is a new indication for use of tablets and oral suspension. The FDA has granted priority review for both applications, and the Prescription Drug User Fee Act (PDUFA) date for both applications is Jan 24, 2020. The FDA granted Orphan Drug Designation for the investigational pediatric indication in 2010.Nicholas Kartsonis, MD, Merck's senior vice president for clinical research, infectious diseases, and vaccines, said in the release that evidence suggests the incidence of C difficile diarrhea in hospitalized children is increasing. "The filings for the pediatric indication for the new investigational oral suspension formulation of DIFICID, as well as for DIFICID tablets, underscore Merck's focus and dedication to developing infectious disease treatments for those with unmet needs," he said.The company said the supplemental NDA is based mainly on findings of a phase 3 study that was presented at IDWeek 2018 in San Francisco.Fidaxomicin is a macrolide antibacterial medication currently indicated for adults for treating C diff diarrhea. In 2018 the Infectious Diseases Society of America recommended fidaxomicin as a first-line therapy for treating C diff infections, the first time those recommendations addressed pediatric treatment of the disease.Oct 2 Merck press release VA study finds negative MRSA nasal swabs effective at ruling out infectionOriginally published by CIDRAP News Oct 1A study today in Clinical Infectious Diseases indicates that nasal screening of patients for MRSA colonization has a high negative predictive value (NPV) for ruling out MRSA infection and could be a powerful antibiotic stewardship tool.In a retrospective study conducted across Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers nationwide, researchers from the VA Western New York Healthcare System looked at data from all VA patients who were screened for MRSA colonization via the nares (nostrils) from 2007 (when the screening policy was initiated in VA medical centers) to 2018. They then evaluated the subsequent clinical cultures collected within 7 days of the nares swab for the presence of MRSA. The aim was to determine whether the absence or presence of MRSA nasal carriage predicts the presence of MRSA in clinical cultures.Nasal screening on admission was done in 96.5% of patients. The cohort yielded 561,325 clinical cultures from a variety of anatomical sites, mainly urine (40%), wound (24.7%), respiratory (16.2%), and blood (12.5%). A positive screen for MRSA nares occurred in 22.9% of patients, and MRSA was identified in 8.3% of subsequent clinical cultures. The sensitivity and specificity of MRSA nasal screening for positive MRSA clinical culture were 67.4% and 81.2%, respectively, and the NPV of a negative MRSA nares swab for ruling out MRSA infection was 96.5%. The positive predictive value was only 24.6%.The NPV was highest for ruling out MRSA in urinary cultures (99.2%), followed by intra-abdominal cultures (98.5%), blood cultures (96.5%), respiratory cultures (96.1%), and wound cultures (93.1%).The authors of the study conclude, "This study suggests that a negative MRSA nares swab, taken within 7 days of culture, is useful to predict the absence of MRSA in a subsequent clinical culture. This information may be used as a stewardship tool to avoid the use of or de-escalate anti-MRSA therapy. It is not, however, appropriate to use MRSA nares as a tool to predict current infection."Oct 1 Clin Infect Dis abstract High global MDR prevalence, death noted in A baumannii pneumoniaOriginally published by CIDRAP News Oct 1A systematic review and meta-analysis of data from 29 countries highlights the global burden and severity of Acinetobacter baumannii causing nosocomial pneumonia, researchers from Australia and Malaysia reported yesterday in The Journal of Infection.Among the 6,445 studies and reports screened from four databases, the researchers identified 126 relevant studies on A baumannii in patients with hospital-acquired pneumonia (HAP) and ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP). The review aimed to provide a global picture of the prevalence of multidrug-resistant A baumannii (MDRAB) in HAP and VAP, and the associated mortality rate. While A baumannii is known to be intrinsically highly resistant to many antibiotics, and numerous studies have reported on the prevalence of MDRAB in HAP and VAP, those studies have been geographically limited.A meta-analysis of the 126 studies found that the overall prevalence of multidrug resistance among A baumannii causing HAP and VAP was 79.9%, with the highest reported prevalence in Central America (100%), Latin America and the Caribbean (100%), and Western Europe (100%). The regions with the lowest prevalence were Eastern Europe (70.6%), North America (69.8%), and Eastern Asia (64.6%). Among countries, the prevalence ranged from 56% (Argentina) to 100% (Mexico, Cuba, Uruguay, Nepal, Pakistan, Lebanon, Qatar, and Croatia).The overall mortality estimate pooled from 27 studies was 42.6%, with the highest reported rates in Western Asia (56.2%), Southern Europe (55.7%), and Northern Africa (53.3%). The lowest reported mortality rates were in Western Europe (33.3%), Southeast Asia (31.9%), and North America (28.6%). The mortality rate among countries ranged from 28% (Iran) to 68% (Greece).The authors of the study say the differences in MDRAB prevalence likely reflect the level of urbanization, sanitation, poverty, and variation in medical resources."It is clear that the burden of MDRAB in HAP and VAP and the mortality rate is high," they write. "Continuous monitoring of drug resistance and strict infection control are recommended for the prevention and control of MDRAB in HAP and VAP."Sep 30 J Infect abstract Targeted stewardship may reduce post-discharge fluoroquinolonesOriginally published by CIDRAP News Sep 30Researchers conducting a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) study involving 122 hospitals have determined that a targeted inpatient fluoroquinolone stewardship program (ASP) is tied to improved fluoroquinolone prescribing at hospital discharge, with UTIs and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) most often associated with inappropriate prescribing of the drugs, according to findings published in Clinical Infectious Diseases.The researchers analyzed data on more than 1.7 million patients from 2014 through 2016 among the VHA hospitals and on 1.73 million fluoroquinolone days of therapy (DOTs). Of that total, 39% of DOTs were prescribed for inpatients, and the rest were for use post-discharge.The team also assessed two ASP approaches for optimizing fluoroquinolone prescribing— prospective audit-and-feedback (PAF) and restrictive policies (RP)—as well as no strategy. They assessed the three approaches in three hospitals each, and assessed 125 patients in each hospital.The authors used risk-adjusted analysis to determine that post-discharge fluoroquinolone exposure differed significantly only between RP and no-strategy sites (3.8% vs 9.3%, P = 0.012). They found no significant difference in fluoroquinolone exposure between PAF and no-strategy hospitals. About 31% of all post-discharge fluoroquinolones were prescribed for patients who did not receive them while an inpatient, and most common diagnoses among those prescribed the antibiotics at discharge were UTI (18.7%) and COPD (14.5%).The investigators also report that post-discharge fluoroquinolone prescription was deemed inappropriate by selection or duration in 154 (41.1%) of 375 patients, with the rate varying from 35.2% in hospitals with a targeted ASP versus 52.8% in no-strategy hospitals. The scientists report that the difference between PAF (29.6%) and RP (40.8%) hospitals did not reach statistical significance (P =0.06). Inappropriate post-discharge fluoroquinolones were flagged for 23 (79.3%) of 29 COPD patients and for 32 (55.2%) of 58 UTI patients.The authors conclude, "Our findings suggest that stewardship efforts to minimize and improve fluoroquinolone-prescribing should also focus on antimicrobial-prescribing at hospital discharge."An accompanying commentary adds, "Successful implementation of [antibiotic stewardship] at this critical transition point will need to leverage and engage frontline providers, staff, pharmacists, case management, nurses, and the entire care team."Sep 28 Clin Infect Dis study Sep 28 Clin Infect Dis commentary Phase 3 trial for new gonorrhea antibiotic to launchOriginally published by CIDRAP News Sep 30Biopharmaceutical company Entasis Therapeutics and the nonprofit Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) today announced the initiation of a global phase 3 clinical trial for zoliflodacin, a new antibiotic for treating uncomplicated gonorrhea.The trial aims to enroll approximately 1,000 patients with urogenital gonorrhea from sites in the United States, Netherlands, Thailand, and South Africa. Patients will be randomized 2:1 to receive either zoliflodacin or a combination of ceftriaxone and azithromycin, the current first-line treatments for uncomplicated gonorrhea.Developed by Entasis, of Waltham, Massachusetts, zoliflodacin is a single-dose oral antibiotic with a mechanism of action that differs from current therapies. In a phase 2 trial involving 179 patients from sexual health clinics in Louisiana, Alabama, Indiana, North Carolina, and Washington, the drug was found to be highly effective in treating urogenital and rectal gonorrhea and was well-tolerated. But it was much less effective in treating pharyngeal gonorrhea.The trial is critical, because the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that rising resistance to ceftriaxone and azithromycin threatens the ability to treat the sexually transmitted infection, and that failure to develop new drugs could result in widespread treatment failure. Untreated gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and increased HIV risk. Under the agreement with Entasis, GARDP is responsible for the phase 3 trial and pharmaceutical development activities to support regulatory approval and market availability, and has commercial rights to zoliflodacin in up to 168 low- and middle-income countries."The initiation of the phase 3 trial of zoliflodacin is an important milestone and brings hope for people affected by this disease. Our partnership with Entasis is critical for preventing the dire scenario of untreatable gonorrhoea and controlling this infection," GARDP Executive Director Manica Balasegaram, MRCP, MSc, said in a GARDP press release. "The global nature of the trial, across four continents, represents our commitment to ensuring this treatment is available to anyone who needs it, wherever they live."The WHO estimates that 87 million new gonorrhea cases occur each year, and the rate is rising. Sep 30 GARDP press release Rapid viral testing fails to reduce antibiotics, hospital stays in Finnish trialOriginally published by CIDRAP News Sep 30The results of a randomized controlled clinical trial conducted in Finland show that rapid viral testing did not reduce antibiotic consumption or shorten hospital stays in acutely ill adults, Finnish researchers report in Clinical Microbiology and Infection.The single-center study involved patients with respiratory symptoms, fever, chest pain, or poor general condition in the emergency unit of a tertiary hospital in Finland who were randomized 1:1 into two groups: a rapid viral diagnostics group (the intervention group) and a delayed viral diagnostics group (the control group). The attending physician received the viral results for the intervention group within 24 hours and the results from the control group within 7 days. Nasal swab samples were analyzed using a multiplex real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detection method. The primary outcomes were duration of hospitalization and antibiotic consumption.Of the 998 randomized patients, 841 (84%) had respiratory symptoms at study entry. A respiratory virus was detected in 175 patients—94 (19%) in the intervention group and 81 (16%) in the control group.Among the 684 patients admitted to the hospital, the mean duration of hospitalization was 4.2 days (standard deviation [SD], 5.4) in the intervention group and 4.1 days (SD, 4.9) in the control group (difference, 0.1 days; 95% confidence interval [CI], -0.5 to 0.6, P = 0.810). Among the 639 patients who received antibiotic treatment, the mean days on antibiotics were 11.3 days (SD 12.6) in the intervention group and 10.4 days (SD, 11.4) in the control group (difference 0.9; 95% CI, -0.6 to 2.4, P = 0.235). There was no statistically significant difference between the two groups.The researchers note that the results are in line with several other randomized studies conducted in recent years that have tested whether improved diagnostics could reduce antibiotic consumption in adult patients with respiratory illness. They suggest that one of the reasons these interventions have failed in that aim may be clinicians' anxiety in the face of poor outcomes, especially in older patients and other high-risk groups.Sep 28 Clin Microbiol Infect study
DeMoulpied comes to LSI from the Private Client Services practice of Ernst & Young where he managed strategy & operations improvement engagements for privately held client businesses. Some of his prior roles include VP of strategic development, director of strategic initiatives, and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt at OptumHealth, UnitedHealth Group’s health services business, as well as Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at General Electric, where he applied operations improvement principles to customer service, supply chain and product development. A successful entrepreneur, deMoulpied is also the founder of PrestoFresh, a Cleveland-based e-commerce food/grocery business. Vehicle Service Group (VSG) has named Kirk Dawson as vice president and general manager – The Americas, effective Dec. 1. VSG is the parent company of 13 leading brands in the vehicle lift, wheel service and collision repair markets, including Rotary, Chief, Forward, Ravaglioli and Direct-Lift. Dawson takes over from Matt Webster, who is retiring after 35 years with the company.AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisementIn his new role, Dawson will be responsible for VSG’s commercial business in North and South America. He will be based at the manufacturer’s American headquarters in Madison, Indiana. Dawson reports to Niclas Ytterdahl, VSG president.“Matt has been a tremendous asset to VSG as his leadership helped us grow from a North American niche manufacturer to a global enterprise. He will be truly missed. However, with Kirk’s resume of commercial successes, his knowledge of our marketplace and his passion for our customers, we are well-positioned to continue to successfully grow in the Americas,” said Ytterdahl.Dawson joined VSG as vice president of heavy-duty in 2012 and was promoted to vice president of lifting equipment in November 2016. Prior to that, he held a number of positions at Cummins Inc. in customer-facing roles within the company’s engineering, marketing, sales, customer service and distribution organizations. Dawson graduated from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.,Lubrication Specialties Inc. (LSI), manufacturer of Hot Shot’s Secret brand of performance additives and oils, recently announced the expansion of senior leadership. Steve deMoulpied joins LSI as the company’s chief operating officer (COO). AdvertisementClick Here to Read MoreAdvertisement LSI President Brett Tennar says, “Steve’s success in developing operational strategies that improves the bottom line, builds teamwork, reduces waste and ensures quality product development and distribution checks many of the boxes of what we were looking for in a COO. This, coupled with his career in the Air Force working with highly technical systems and his in-depth understanding of Lean Six Sigma and Business Process Management sealed our offer. As our tagline states, our products are Powered by Science. This data driven approach is one reason why our company has grown exponentially as we employ the most advanced technology to product development. I am confident that Steve is the right person to drive operational strategy for our diverse and growing brands.” Advertisement DeMoulpied has a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Management from the United States Air Force Academy and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Dayton in Marketing and International Business. He served six years with the USAF overseeing the development of technology used on fighter aircraft and the E-3 Surveillance aircraft, finishing his career honorably as Captain. With more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and functional areas, deMoulpied has particular expertise in organizations with complex technical products. Combined, his prior positions have required a spectrum of skills in corporate strategy, operations improvement, product quality, and revenue cycle management. He has an impressive history of utilizing data driven problem solving (Lean Six Sigma) and project management (PMP and CSM) to achieve strategic goals surrounding customer satisfaction, operational efficiency and improved profit.
■ The Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) hosted a “Trip around the world” food fair on Saturday October 29, to raise funds for their Y-zone after-school programme summer camp and seniors’ party in December. Pictured, from left, are Chantal Veale, Moira April, Barbara Howard, Barbara Arnolds, Dorothy Adams and Marlene Bezuidenhout from Team Hawaii
Africa Ablaze dance company performs at the #FREESPACE launch event. The container outside the Zeitz MOCAA at the Silo District will be used as a space to host conversations around free space. 1 of 2 The container outside the Zeitz MOCAA at the Silo District will be used as a space to host conversations around free space. A bright yellow container placed outside the Zeitz MOCAA marks the start of a month-long conversation around public space in the city. The event, called #FREESPACE, was launched last week, and will consist of a number of panel discussions, talks, workshops and performances around public space.It will be hosted at the Zeitz MOCAA and the V&A Waterfront’s Silo District until Sunday February 17. #FREESPACE is a project of London-based international architecture-led interdisciplinary design practice INSTINCT.It was undertaken for the V&A Waterfront in partnership with Zeitz MOCAA and the African Centre for Cities at UCT. The event offers the opportunity to discuss and engage with the concept of space as a binding medium between people from a cultural, architectural, urban and personal perspective. There is also an online gallery and forum. The CEO of the Waterfront and board member of the Zeitz MOCAA, David Green, said there were hardly any cities not feeling the effects of densification.The number of people moving to the city is relentless and because of this, all cities are grappling with how to work with public space. “Much of people’s quality of life happens in public spaces. Our vision is the use and activation of spaces for the public. With the V&A Waterfront, our main aim is to connect people to the sea. “And while people fight for the privatisation of space, we can argue that it is people that provide a space with security, not tall gates and guards.” He said through the event, people will get to learn about space and the concept of free space as a space of humanity. The co-creator of the event, Caroline Sohie, said the installation of the container represents a unit which travelled around the world. She said the container, which had travelled 200 000km, and has been reused and repurposed and ended up in the Waterfront, is a symbol of collaboration. Ms Sohie said: “It’s a symbol of free space and the reuse of space and buildings for other purposes. Maybe our container can be an inspiration for what the future of space might be.” She said INSTINCT believes the conversation around public space is important because space reflects the history and soul of its citizens. “It is essential to our livelihood but often uncared for. The physical translation of a temporary #FREESPACE territory in Cape Town will create a powerful statement, a symbolic narrative of memory, inscribed in the city fabric. “Ultimately, the project intends to lead to thought-provoking expression, uncovering disrupting narratives, leading to a propositional debate about human space and imaginary futures.” She said the container was a symbolic reference to this and will act as a meeting space where citizens can engage. Luyanda Mpahlwa, president of the South African Institute of Architects (SAIA), said inthe city, there is no good experience when it comes to public space. “Inclusivity and diversity remains key in defining this city, and of the estimated 500 000 people who live in Cape Town, only 52 00 of those live in the inner city which begs the question – who really owns the inner city, and how do you make a city accessible to all?” He said while we are fortunate that the inner city has maintained itself as an economic hub, there has been no inner city rejuvenation since apartheid. “We need to make a conscious effort to create neighbourhoods – our city doesn’t have neighbourhoods. Where do people who live in the city and Bo-Kaap go to congregate freely? We should all take ownership of the city. We need to find a space in the city for everyone and for this, we need partnerships such as the ones we are building now – the governments, professionals, forums and the public.” He said the discussions around free space is a starting point for the discussion around public space to proceed. “If we are not active in city making, then incidents such as the one on Clifton Beach will be common.” Azu Nwagbogu, chief curator of the Zeitz MOCAA, said #FREESPACE is a step in the right direction and encourages people to access public space. “At Zeitz MOCAA, this conversation is important. We encourage free access to the public. We have free programmes, tours and free entry every Wednesday and we can see the growing interest of the general public.” Events will be held every week until Sunday February 17. The programme and a full list of speakers can be found online at www.freespace.events All events are free to attend, but booking is required. The public are also invited to share images into the online forum answering the question: What does free space mean to you? The posts will appear as part of the sculptural installation outside the Zeitz MOCAA at the V&A Waterfront Silo District.
A financial advisory group has asked the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) if it can investigate the planned reform of probate fees as the controversial proposal nears final approval in parliament. The LEBC Group said that the changes would cause ‘hardship and distress’ to the bereaved.The row over the reforms escalated yesterday as opposition politicians accused the government of introducing a new tax through secondary legislation. Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable told the Daily Mail that bringing in changes without proper parliamentary scrutiny is a ‘clear abuse of power’.Yesterday, the House of Commons’ Fourteenth Delegated Legislation Committee voted by nine votes to eight to approve a statutory instrument (SI) applying a sliding scale of charges based on the value of estates rather than a flat fee. The SI will now go before the House of Commons chamber where, barring a formal objection and subsequent vote against the proposals, it will pass. The changes would then come into force in April.The Law Society this week urged members to write to their MPs over what the Society described as ‘a misuse of the lord chancellor’s fee-levying powers’. The approach to the CMA will be on the grounds of fairness, LEBC’s director of public policy Kay Ingram said: ‘The CMA has shone a light on poor treatment of the bereaved in the field of funeral services and care homes. If, as the MoJ argues, this increase is not a tax increase, but a fee, then it deserves the same scrutiny as exploitative pricing by business. If it is a tax increase then MPs must account to their constituents for this.’The CMA has been contacted for comment.Ingram admitted to the Gazette that it is unclear whether the CMA has the power to investigate government departments: ‘I have asked them this question.’ However she said the rise in probate fees ‘strikes me as a classic example of exploitative pricing by a monopoly provider, where the consumer has no choice but to use the service at a time of extreme vulnerability’.’In reality this is not a fee but a tax increase. It is therefore a tax which should form part of a Finance Bill and be subject to full debate in Parliament.’Under the plans, probate charges will be linked to the size of the estate. The wealthiest estates (those valued at more than £2m) would face a £6,000 charge. At the moment there is a flat fee of £215, or £155 for those applying through a solicitor, on estates of any size. However the government says that the reform will exempt people with estates worth less than £50,000 from any fees at all.
Egypt’s Luxor tourism Egypt’s cabinet resignation aftermath Reviving Egypt’s Treasures oyees work at a factory of XD-EGEMAC High Voltage Electric Equipment Co. in Ain Sokhna, Egypt, July 2, 2018. The China-Egypt joint venture has successfully established its leading position in the high-voltage equipment manufacturing in Egypt, while helping end the Arab country’s previous reliance on import of top-end transformers. TO GO WITH Spotlight: China-Egypt joint venture leads high-voltage equipment manufacturing in Egypt (Xinhua/Wu Huiwo)A China-Egypt joint venture has successfully established its leading position in the high-voltage equipment manufacturing in Egypt, while helping end the Arab country’s previous reliance on imports of top-end transformers.The joint venture, XD-EGEMAC High Voltage Electric Equipment Co. established in 2009 by China’s XD corporation and Egypt’s EGEMAC, has increased the percentage of local manufacturing of high-voltage equipment up to 40 percent so far.Located in the Chinese-operated TEDA industrial zone in Egypt’s Ain Sokhna district of Suez Province, on an area of 276,000 square meters, XD-EGEMAC premises include a GIS plant and an adjacent power transformers factory.It has been contributing to the development of the industry in Egypt through constructing GIS (gas insulated switchgear) substations and introducing power transformers manufacturing in the most populous Arab country.Thanks to XD’s expertise and technologies, XD-EGEMAC has managed to build several GIS substations in different parts of Egypt besides its power transformer factory that is currently producing, not just assembling, high voltage transformers for the Egyptian local market.“The technologies of XD-EGEMAC is completely imported from China XD, but we’re promoting the localization of our products manufacturing in Egypt, which will be increased step by step,” said XD-EGEMAC General Manager Li Zhifu.XD holds 51 percent of the consortium shares while EGEMAC holds the other 49 percent. XD-EGEMAC’s main products, whether GIS substations or power transformers, are mainly for the Egyptian local market, but it also plans to export its high voltage products to neighboring countries in the Middle East and Africa in the future.“Most of the high voltage equipment in Egypt was 100-percent imported but now we have increased the local manufacturing percentage up to 40 percent and our target is to reach 60 percent in the near future,” Li told Xinhua at his office in the administrative building of the company.XD-EGEMAC can now produce power transformers with the biggest capacity of up to 220kv. It has also built substations and supplied transformers in different Egyptian provinces including the capital Cairo, as well as other governorates of Giza, Qalyubia, Suez, Damietta, Minya, Sohag and Aswan.“This year, we signed a contract to build a 500kv substation for Nag Hammadi in Qena Province and now we have negotiations for building substations in Giza, Fayoum and other places. We’re working in more than 15 sites this year in Egypt,” Li said.The GIS factory has a main workshop with a total area of 7,871 square meters, whose annual production scale is approximately 210 bays for 72.5-550kv GIS equipment.The nearby transformer factory, which can manufacture all types of power transformers from 66kv to 500kv, has a main workshop with an area of 8,521 square meters and an overhead crane that can lift up to 160 tons.Mohamed Anwar, head of the transformer manufacturing department at XD-EGEMAC, said the transformer factory will manufacture transformers with a capacity of 500kv.“China’s XD is a school for technology. It has a distinguished technological approach that is even different from similar Chinese power transformer manufacturers. We benefited a lot from XD technology and from its transfer to Egypt,” the engineer told Xinhua at the transformer factory.The company has some 200 employees and technicians working indoors and around 500 others working in its different project sites across Egypt.At the winding workshop of the transformer factory, Egyptian technicians said they learned a lot in the field of power transformer manufacturing thanks to the technology introduced by XD.“Power transformer manufacturing is the locomotive of power industry and Egypt’s entrance in this field is a big leap,” said Amr Abdel-Razek, a technician at the winding department who has been working for XD-EGEMAC for two years.He added that Egypt used to import power transformers from abroad, “so it is very important that we started to manufacture transformers with Egyptian hands not just assembling them.”Abdel-Razek stressed that the field is new to Egyptian technicians and engineers but they are capable of comprehending it very fast.“Egypt and China are very old and close civilizations with a lot of similarities, so there is much integration here in the company between the Egyptians with their fast work and the Chinese with their expertise and efficiency,” said the technician.Related